General portfolio guidelines for undergraduate courses

Courses starting in September 2020: If you're applying for a course starting in September 2020, you will be asked to submit a digital portfolio via our Applicant Portal. You may also be asked to join a remote interview with one of our academics.

Interview

The purpose of the portfolio interview is to try and assess your potential and ability to benefit from the course. This will take the form of a discussion around your range of interests and focus on your portfolio of work. The interview is a two-way process: the interviewer wants to see what skills and interests you have, so it is important to spend some time preparing your portfolio.

Please bring an A0 to A3 sized portfolio (preferably A1 for Fine Art) with a handle. No transparent plastic wallets should be used inside the portfolio.

Make sure that your portfolio is organised logically – either chronologically or grouped so that development work is placed next to finished piece. Include sketchbook and workbook samples.

Start your portfolio with your strongest pieces of work and keep the interest going through the portfolio with logical layout and good presentation. End your portfolio with another strong piece of work.

Title and date each piece of work on the reverse and, for reproductions only (for example, photographs of a sculpture or large painting), also provide the original's dimensions (in cm x cm for 2D and cm x cm x cm for 3D).

Online/digital interview portfolio submissions

An online interview portfolio may be requested if you are an international student or cannot attend an interview for some other reason.

The same course guidance applies as for a hard-copy interview portfolio but selected work needs to be scanned (where necessary) and arranged in a clear way in either Microsoft Powerpoint or a PDF.

You will be asked to upload the file to the University's Applicant Portal – a username and password will be sent to you in an official email.

For Film and Television Production, and for Music and Technology Production, please see the course-specific guidelines below.

PowerPoint submissions

You can provide a digital interview portfolio as a Microsoft Office PowerPoint file (.pps or .ppsx), ideally one image per slide, with a maximum of three per slide.

Include a clear contents slide at the start of the PowerPoint file.

Notes should be used for each slide image eg, a short description of the process of making the work and/or including the title of the work, date, materials and dimensions (in cm x cm for 2D and cm x cm x cm for 3D).

Please use stills only – do not attempt to embed any moving image in the PowerPoint file. Name the PowerPoint file only as below (ie, in no other way).

Maximum file size: 10MB.

PDF submissions

Alternatively you can provide your portfolio as a PDF file. If choosing this format, please provide your interview portfolio as a single Adobe PDF file, with one to three images per page with clear annotations and notes.

Please include a clear contents page at the start of the PDF.

Notes should be used for each slide image eg, a short description of the process of making the work and/or including the title of the work, date, materials and dimensions (in cm x cm for 2D and cm x cm x cm for 3D).

Please use stills only – do not attempt to embed any moving image in the PDF file. Name the PDF file only as below (ie, in no other way).

Maximum file size: 10MB.

What to call your file

Please name your interview portfolio file in this way:

Surname in uppercase followed by your London Met or UCAS ID number followed by "portfolio" in uppercase – SURNAME_LONDONMET/UCAS IDnumber_PORTFOLIO

(For example: SMITH_1234567890_PORTFOLIO).

Questions

If you have any questions about what to submit in your portfolio, feel free to contact the course leader – you can find their contact details on your chosen course page.

Subject-specific portfolio guidance

In additional to this general guidance, view our guidance for individual subjects below. Here you'll also find out what to submit in a portfolio for a foundation-year degree.

Additional guidance by subject

If you're applying for Year 1 (the first year of a degree) you are not necessarily expected to submit an architectural portfolio. We like to see evidence of current interests and activities in the form of freehand sketches, drawings, collages, photographs, films and other media.

A Year 1 (Level 4) portfolio should demonstrate the following:

  • work with concepts and ideas
  • range of materiality/process/techniques
  • exploration of concepts

If you're applying for direct entry to Year 2 or 3 (Levels 5 or 6) of our Architecture BA, your portfolio should include:

  • clear ideas and development
  • an architectural approach
  • conceptual thinking
  • design abilities

If you have previous architectural or design experience in higher education or employment, you may apply for direct entry into Year 2 or 3 (Levels 5 or 6). You will be expected to submit a portfolio of their work to date, but also unfinished work, drawings, sketches, photographs and independent interests. Evidence of full-time architectural study is essential. If you're entering Year 3 (Level 6) you must complete a total of 120 credits on either the full-time or part-time mode to be eligible for RIBA/ARB part 1.

It is worthwhile including examples of work carried out in an architectural practice as the interviewer may wish to look at them. Transcripts must be provided with your portfolio or at your interview.

Fashion

The fashion course at The Cass is looking for students with a good level of making, drawing and thinking ability. We do not expect you to have made full outfits but a showing a desire and willingness to create is essential.

Jewellery and Accessories

We are looking for students who can demonstrate dexterity in a range of media and a well-developed visual awareness alongside an understanding of the requirements of a career in fashion accessories and jewellery. Please include drawings and colour work, collages and sketches as well as finished designs. Sketchbooks are very important so do bring at least one to your interview.

Textiles

We look for students with an intense interest in the subject of textiles, who will enthusiastically explore their ideas, as well as experiment with materials and processes to achieve new and exciting designs for fashion and interiors. You should include a range of media and disciplines in your portfolio – for example drawing, painting, print, collage, mixed media, 3D work and fashion. As well as finished work, sketchbooks that show an excitement about your work and some thinking always helps discussion at interview.

We are looking for work that demonstrates your passion for visual storytelling, but it doesn't need to be a finished film. Please provide moving image files or still photographs from at least two media-related projects with a short description of the projects, as well as support material such as story boards, draft scripts, sketchbooks, idea books and a 300 to 500 word review or analysis of a film or TV programme of your choice.

Format for interview 

  • Work can be presented in any suitable way for the media presented.
  • Moving image can be presented via laptop/tablet or on DVD, ideally as Quicktime file.
  • Bring photographs and drawings as hardcopies in an A3 to A0 portfolio.
  • Written work can be printed on A4 paper – or shown on laptop/ tablet.

Formats for online portfolio

  • Moving images: 10-minute maximum showreel – QuickTime, YouTube or Vimeo only. Create a Microsoft Word document with the links included in the text – underneath each link provide a short explanation of what each link is. Save the file and upload it to the University's Applicant Portal.
  • Still images: Provide still image portfolio as a single Adobe PDF file, with one to three images per page with clear annotations and notes. Include a clear contents page at the start of the PDF.
  • Written work: To be provided as Word document or PDF

The artworks in your portfolio should demonstrate creative thinking, investigation and the ability to develop a project. Please include examples of artworks (both finished and work-in-progress) that showcase your particular interests and skills. Your portfolio may by all means include coursework (for example, from A level or foundation), but we always recommend including independent (ie self-initiated) work too.

Feel free to include drawings, photographs, paintings on paper or board (not stretched canvases), sketchbooks and notebooks. You don't need to leave out large or 3D pieces – simply reproduce and include photographs of them, preferably enlarged.

Your foundation year portfolio for interview should demonstrate your creative thinking, technical ability and potential. It should include an edited selection of highlights from your work – whether completed on previous courses or self initiated – and illustrate a range of different skills and creative experiences.

The process and the way you work is just as important as the final image, so demonstrate the progress and method behind them for example sketches, worksheets, storyboards, scripts, development drawings/models or contact sheets.

Your portfolio should include a good selection of work that reveals your individual interests and skills. Essays, photographs, creative writing, film, animation, music, photos of 3D objects or self-generated projects can all be included. These may be focused on a specific creative practice such as fashion, fine art, photography, furniture or cross over a range of interests.

Offers of admission are based on evidence of self-motivation as well as intellectual and practical creative ability.

There are no hard-and-fast rules about the format of a foundation-year portfolio for interview but an A3 to A0 portfolio is the usual format for hard copy work, while films and music can be provided on DVD/USB as Quicktime/WAV/MOV files.

Furniture and Production Design

Your portfolio should represent your ability and potential as a designer, and should include four or five recent projects that show evidence of your design work and creativity, together with other drawings, illustrations and photographs of any 3D models and prototypes. You should also include extracts from sketchbooks and workbooks and an example of any relevant written reports.

Furniture FdA

At The Cass, we are very much about designing and making. We look for students that can develop ideas and make them work in a real context as either prototypes or finished pieces of furniture. We expect you to show drawings in a range of media, demonstrating your ability to communicate through drawing. Being selective is important, various original works are preferred over hundreds of the same type of drawing or project, just a few stand out pieces and a range of design ideas, plus some interests in other disciplines or ways of working.

Your portfolio should consist of recent art, design and visual work, and be presented in order to best demonstrate your abilities and experience. It should include a variety of media including drawings, computer-based work, photography, mixed media or moving image.

We like to see how you tackle a brief so include sketchbooks, workbooks and other developmental work as well as your finished projects. Be reasonably selective in what you include – remember that we will be basing our decision significantly on the contents and presentation of your portfolio. A recent sample of written work should also be included.

We are looking for a range of 2D and 3D work and would specifically like to see a portfolio working with models, furniture ideas, sculptures or installations together with portfolio pages that show ideas of drawing development and communication. It would be useful to see a range of skills such as sketching, colour work through various mediums, collage and photography and print. Importantly your portfolio needs to show your enthusiasm, good research and reflection.

Please submit a portfolio of musical works for review. Your portfolio should contain work in the area of your expertise. For example, you could do one of the following:

  • Upload two or more songs you may have composed / recorded / produced to give us an idea of your talent and knowledge in the area of music production
  • Upload two or more video /music / pictures of installations you may have created /composed / produced to give us an idea of your talent and knowledge in the area of sonic arts

You should submit a brief document explaining the work you are sending (eg a short report discussing the pieces you sent) which includes links to this work.

You can include a link on your report to an online portfolio such as Soundcloud, YouTube or Vimeo. 

Alternatively, you can include a link to a file transfer service such as WeTransfer or Dropbox 

If you are using WeTransfer or Dropbox, please submit your music in AIF or WAV formats (not MP3), video as MOV or AVI formats, and images in JPEG or PNG formats.

As well as photography, your portfolio may include written work, drawings and other two-dimensional works, including sketchbooks. Large pieces of work and three-dimensional work should be presented using photographs or shown on a laptop or tablet. You're advised to be selective when preparing your portfolio and to present those pieces that you feel best represent your creative ability.